life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Biggest Loser Tuesday

So I went to my weight watchers meeting on Tuesday, and despite the holiday excesses, I still managed to lose a pound! Bravo!

the leader handed out some "bling" ....a small charm in the shape of clapping hands, with the number "16" to show we've done 16 weeks of program....when I looked for the charm on Friday it was gone...but I found it again Sunday night.

this week's meeting was all about activity -- something I am sadly lacking. Personal goal for the week is to ADD MOVEMENT!!! And I manage 20 minutes of working out while watching The Biggest Loser, not a bad start. Afterward, I really felt the burn in my arms and legs...I've got to keep this up. good thing I renewed my membership at the Y, I may actually see the inside of the gym eventually.

thursday lunchtime I actually took a walk along the waterfront....and ran into several members of my WW group. felt good.

of course, the weekend came along and blew me away. I'll try to do better this week.

As for the show....loved that Tracey made it back! Julio was not winning any friends this week. The idea that they are all one team -- and need to lose a combined total of 150 pounds to keep everyone above the yellow line -- made for an interesting week 2. The quiz was very informative. Loved the team challenge. Clearly the producers don't want to send anyone home this week! It was wonderful the way they worked together. But week 2 -- the cursed week... I dread the weigh-in.... glad Tracey did well, feel bad for the pink the time the blue team weighed in I knew they'd succeed...awesome finish, guys, they lost 155 pounds all told...and no one goes home.

Next week's episode sounds weird...

Monday, September 28, 2009

that was a bit awkward...

about 7-8 years ago my friend Denise met a guy through an internet dating site. after a few dates she told me "I think Phil would be better for you than for me." and she set me up on a blind date.

our first date was at an Italian restaurant, Papa Joe's, a place I'd eaten with Drew and some of our friends. while we were eating, he started telling me about his passion and involvement with a local theater group, one that did a lot of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

he asked me if I'd heard of any Gilbert & Sullivan works, other than the big three -- Mikado, HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance.

I said yes, I'd see Iolanthe, that my ex husband, his parents and his sister were all involved in a Gilbert & Sullivan group.

he looked at me and said "YOU'RE Drew's ex wife?"

yep, they were involved with the same Gilbert & Sullivan group. Phil acts and directs, and Drew and his sister perform.

I went out with Phil for a few months. it ended badly.

now I am back with Drew. and Drew is still involved with the Gilbert & Sullivan group. in fact, he plans to appear in Pirates this year, which Phil will direct.

so Drew and I went out to dinner Saturday night.

guess who was sitting at the very next table?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Washington DC redux

Becca and Drew spent yesterday in boston, looking at BU. today she asked me to take her to DC to see GW again. We're going in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We're off to see the Wizard

Drew and I saw the Wizard of Oz in a real movie theater tonight.

NCM Fathom, Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies present The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Hi-Def Event featuring the first ever High Definition presentation in movie theatres nationwide of The Wizard of Oz. This One Night Event will take place in over 440 movie theatres nationwide on Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. (local time). In addition to the feature presentation of The Wizard of Oz, this exclusive event will include a special introduction by Robert Osborne, a classic film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies, followed by “To Oz! The Making of a Classic,” a look into how L. Frank Baum’s classic novel was transformed into one of the most beloved films of all time including archival interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and rare musical outtakes. Also featured will be an exclusive clip of the Scarecrow, Ray Bolger, dancing in High-definition for the very first time.

This isn't just a movie, for many years it was a major television event. The adults in the theater...well, we'd all seen the film so many times we could recite the dialog and sing all the songs.

Auntie Em Gale: Almira Gulch. Just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!

Coroner: [singing] As Coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.

Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: You have no power here! Now begone, before somebody drops a house on you!

Wicked Witch of the West: Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I'll get you, my pretty and your little dog too!

Cowardly Lion: All right, I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I'll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I'm going in there. There's only one thing I want you fellows to do.
Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow: What's that?
Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it.

Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I'm going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!

Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.

Dorothy: Oh, but anyway, Toto, we're home. Home! And this is my room, and you're all here. And I'm not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and - oh, Auntie Em - there's no place like home!

But we'd all seen this classic on television.

What a difference seeing it as the director intended, on a real movie screen. the clarity, the child was actually crying during the flying monkeys scene.the flowers in Munchkinland...incredible. When we see the Lion approaching the witch's castle he's carrying something with writing on it...but today I actually read the words: "Witch Remover". You miss some of the humor if you can't see the details!

And Judy singing her signature song.

You know I love the movie -- this is a picture of the ruby slippers form my trip to the Smithsonian.

I leave you with this thought:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Biggest Loser Tuesday

So last Tuesday....our Weight Watchers at Work Meeting begins at 1 PM, and we're encouraged to bring lunch with us. I usually eat lunch at noon, and by 12:15 I was STARVING! that was dangerous, since I hadn't brought my lunch and I can't think straight when I am that hungry. I held on, though, and got a salad for lunch in the take out place downstairs. How could I do otherwise, when everyone in our WW group would be watching what I had for lunch? good weigh-in, I lost 1.8 pounds! that ought to keep me going a bit longer.

I anticipate that the biggest challenge of my week, of course, is Rosh Hashanah. All the traditional foods, all the special treats, so much temptation! the biggest challenge....well, except for lunch on Middle Eastern place on ann Street...the best hummus and felafel in NYC. I would have been ok if I'd stayed away from the Moroccan cigars...ruined my whole day, and by the time I got to Open School night I was so hungry I ate two donuts (but then again, those donuts were my dinner...)....not concerned about losing weight, I just hope I don't gain....

as for the show -- the two hour premier....well, all the episodes are 2 hours -- the basic introductions. I like that Dan is back to finish what he started. of the other 15, the only ones who seem to stand out initially are Sean (the youth minister) and Abby, the woman who lost her husband and children in a car accident. but I am glad it's 16 strangers, not couples or families this time. they get to choose partners. the dramas will be very different than last season's.

the first challenge is a killer...almost literally. what a supportive group of people. but how many of them needed medical assistance after one single mile? I couldn't believe what happened to Tracy! so scary... and the other guy, Mo...

it's enough to get me off the couch and doing some walking in place...

And poor Shay...476 pounds, the heaviest person ever on the have to admire her determination...

and Jillian crying during the weigh-in over Abbey's tragedy and triumph....

and the black team falls below the yellow line. Alexandra is pissed and blames Julio. at the vote, it's a 3-3 tie, all dependent on the green team's vote. and they choose ....

and it's goodbye Alexandra.

and she's lost 60 pounds so far at home and looks good!

Monday, September 21, 2009

time passages

it was lonely in synagogue this weekend. I was with 2,000 of my friends and neighbors, yet I was lonely.

Becca came to synagogue with me....but spent her time in the lobby with her friends.

Jen never made it inside the building at all. her choice, she's almost 19, what can I say?

but what truly saddened dad didn't come.

it was the first time in years he didn't come to synagogue.

he's 82 now, and the thought of being in such a crowded, noisy place was just overwhelming.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

college campuses and alcohol

so over the weekend Jen very casually mentioned -- once again -- that there is almost always alcohol at all the parties.

when I was in college, the drinking age was 18, and there was a lot of drinking on campus. the drinking age is 21 now, but otherwise...times have not really changed, have they?

so periodically I discuss drinking with my there's a difference between having a few drinks and getting blitzed, how "don't drink and drive" is sound it's good to "buddy up" with other girls to make sure everyone gets home from the party...

I'm not under any illusion Jen won't drink. I just want her do do it sensibly.


  /Seph. tɑʃˈlix; Ashk. ˈtɑʃlɪx/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [Seph. tahsh-leekh; Ashk. tahsh-likh] Show IPA
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–noun Hebrew.
a Jewish rite, performed on the afternoon usually of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, in which the participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, stream, or the like and reciting prayers of repentance.

Because yesterday, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, was also Shabbat, we performed Taslikh today instead.

My congregation is very fortunate. Right across the street from the synagogue is a small park. From the street it looks like nothing, just a patch of woods. but if you follow the footpath into the woods you will find a real pond. Tashlikh must be performed at a "living" body of water. There are fish and frogs and turtles in this pond -- we saw turtles today -- so it meets the requirements.

We parade up the street from the temple to the footpath, then along the footpath to the banks of the pond. We sing s few songs in Hebrew, say a few prayers, and then the Rabbi blows the Shofar.

then we throw bread into the water, symbolically casting away our sins.

It is a very cleansing, healing ritual.

Friday, September 18, 2009

L'shana tova

Happy Rosh Hashanah to one and all. May you have a sweet new year.


You know how, as your birthday or the new year approaches, you tend to become introspective? you review the past year and make resolutions about the coming one.

as a Jew, I celebrate the New Year twice -- a secular new year in January, and a religious new year at Rosh Hashanah.

Unlike the secular new year, with its parties and fireworks and etc., the Jewish High Holy days focus on introspection, on self analysis, on prayer.

I reflect on all the changes in my life since last Rosh Hashanah...and the changes to come in the new year.

A baby bird has flown out of the nest and is on the road to discovering who she will be. Another baby bird is stretching her wings, preparing to fly.

an old love has returned to my life.

I can't wait to see what the new year birngs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RIP Mary Travers, you will be missed

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
and brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. Oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whene'er they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name. Oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. Oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

so...where to go?

Still trying to come up with vacation ideas for February.

I said "Disneyworld" and he said "Cancun". then he said "or maybe a cruise to the Bahamas packaged with Disneyworld".

and today he said "Acapulco and Mexico City."

decisions, decisions....

Biggest Loser Tuesday

Tonight NBC premiers its new season of The Biggest Loser.

I didn't see the first few seasons of the show, I found it in 2006, but I've seen previous episodes in reruns on cable. I've become very much a fan of the show. It's one of the few shows I still consider "must-see TV". I am very much looking forward to tonight's episode.

Of equal importance (to me, at least), but much less publicized, is that today begins the next cycle of our Weight Watchers at Work group. I've been a member of this group for awhile now, with mixed results.

I'm going to use the show as inspiration for my own weight loss efforts.

so here's anew feature of my blog. Every Tuesday will now be "Biggest Loser Tuesday", a discussion of the show, and perhaps some personal discussion as well. the challenges on the show, the challenges I face in real life.

Should get interesting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

songbird salutes the 70's

Thursday, September 10, 2009

fashion week in NYC

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09/09/09 9:09 AM

if your lucky number is 9, now is your moment.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

it's my very last

"first day of school".

Becca begins her senior year of high school today. her last year of public school.

it was the spring of 1997 -- just yesterday -- that I walked her into the elementary school building, the one where Jen was a student, to enroll Becca in kindergarten. and just a few months later that she left preschool behind and began her career as a student in our school district. when she moved from elementary school to middle school, I cried. when she moved from middle school to high school, I cried some more.

and when she graduates next June, I am sure I will be a mess.

our lives have been governed by the school district calendar since 1995, when Jen began kindergarten. sad to think we won't be ruled by that calendar anymore.

but becca is already grumbling about "why do I have to be in high school, I want to be in college."

it's going to be an interesting year.


Seen on the Hudson River this morning:

(click on photo to enlarge)

In September 1609, an Englishman named Henry Hudson, sailing his ship, The Half Moon, under a Dutch flag, arrived at the river that now bears his name.

this morning's flotilla honors that discovery.

Monday, September 7, 2009

after much anxiety

we were successful in moving Jen into her dorm today.

it's much easier when you're a sophomore, familiar with the campus and dorm life. but still, she was nervous. everything went smoothly, she had all her stuff unpacked and put away by lunchtime. of course, her father and I had to make a mid-morning run to Walmart to buy a few things she forgot, but that wasn't unexpected.

the best part of the day....Drew and Becca and I walked over to the student union because Becca wanted to buy a school t-shirt. we had to walk past the freshmen dorms. a group of sorority girls came over to Becca and asked her if she wanted to rush a sorority. sorry, no, Becca is still in high school (and grumbling that she wants to go to college NOW, not next year.)

songbird salutes the 70's

Remember this Dr. Pepper commercial? David Naughton in his pre-Makin' It days.

Friday, September 4, 2009

what is it with cats and window sills?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

songbird salutes the 70"s

So I was eating a Fig Newton today...and the fig Newton jingle popped into my head. remember it? they guy dressed like a huge fig, singing "The big Fig Newton" and dancing while munching on a cookie? ("here's the tricky part"

Found it on Myspace, of all places:

the Big Fig Newton

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

back on the program today

Weight Watchers, that is.

the weight's gone up, the weight's gone done. and up again.

time for it to go down again....especially if I plan to climb Mayan pyramids in February.

it's not set in stone yet, but we're talking about a trip to Cancun.

I was able to keep up with Drew so long as we were walking on flat ground. as soon as we hit hills or stairs...

yep, it's time to start training for those pyramids...

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